Bill Buckner, a longtime major leaguer and batting champion whose error for the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World Series would go down as one of the most infamous plays in baseball history, died Monday. He was 69.
Former Boston Red Sox player Bill Buckner acknowledges the cheers from the crowd before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the MLB baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers on April 8, 2008 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Credit: Brian Snyder-Pool/Getty Images)
“After battling the disease of Lewy Body Dementia Bill Buckner passed away early the morning of May 27th surrounded by his family,” the family said in a statement provided to ESPN. “Bill fought with courage and grit as he did all things in life. Our hearts are broken but we are at peace knowing he is in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Buckner played 22 major league seasons, including eight with the Dodgers and two with the California Angels. He was an All-Star selection in 1981 and the National League batting champion in 1980 during his time with the Chicago Cubs.
However, his costly error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series prevented Boston from ending its long-running championship drought. The fielding error on a hit by Mookie Wilson in the 10th inning allowed Ray Knight to score the winning run in a stunning 6-5 win. The Mets went on to win the Series after beating the Red Sox in Game 7.
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